By Ryan Burton
WBA featherweight champion Celestino "Pelenchin" Caballero is preparing for his upcoming title defense against his mandatory challenger Mikey Garcia on July 28th at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. Caballero admitted that he doesn't know a lot about Garcia but looks forward to facing him in the ring.
"I don't know a lot about Garcia. I know the guy he just fought (Bernabe Concepcion), JuanMa had already knocked out," stated Caballero. He elaborated further by saying, "These fighters need to prove themselves. Mikey can't run or hide now. He is the mandatory challenger and has to fight me."
It seems that whenever Caballero's name is brought up, inevitably the name of his rival Juan Manuel Lopez also comes up. Caballero has campaigned unsuccessfully for years to face the Puerto rican former champion.
Lopez was recently suspended by the Puerto Rico Boxing Comission for accusing referee Roberto Ramirez Sr. of gambling on fights. When asked for his opinion of Lopez's suspension, Caballero said that JuanMa was wrong for making those statements and that Orlando Salido should be given more credit for defeating Lopez twice.
"I don't know the legal aspects of his punishment but I don't know why he questioned the loss. It wasn't a shock. The whole world saw he lost. He had lost to him before. Salido should get credit. He isn't a technical boxer but he is a gladiator. I've said if you can take JuanMa's punches for 6 rounds then you will beat him."
Yuriorkis Gamboa is another fighter that Caballero has been chasing for the past couple years. Pelenchin said that he hopes Gamboa can get past his legal issues so that when he is ready to move up in weight the two fighters can finally meet in the ring.
"I plan on moving up to 130 pounds soon. If Gamboa is there I would to fight him. I think the fans would want to see it," Caballero told Boxingscene.com.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene's official audio on Tuesdays. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton.Tags: Juan Manuel Lopez , Celestino Caballero , Yuriorkis Gamboa , Mikey Garcia , Caballero-Garcia , Caballero vs Garcia